I said I wouldn’t post about our transition back to Canada. Sometimes writing makes me feel too vulnerable, too exposed. Now is one of the toughest times of my life, one of the times when I feel God’s blessing most deeply, and I don’t have the heart to put it all on display for the world to read.
But I know that there are people among you who are praying for my family during this time. Know that God is good, and He does good. Our travels have been smooth, and there have been moments of sheer beauty. We’ve traveled by car, truck and airplane (five airports, four countries, and three continents).
Through it all, I learn this one thing over and over and over again: God’s promises are precious. They are priceless.
As our last few days in Congo were running out, tripping on each others’ heels, a wise older man in Congo paused to tell me this; “This will leave wounds in our hearts. But God is the Healer.” My fluttering scared heart latched on to that promise and it keeps coming back to mind.
Even as I write, it re-opens all the raw, throbbing mess of my heart. There have been days when emotional and mental pain sweeps over me so hard that it feels like an iron fist is tightening around my body.
I remember watching our Uncle glue together two pieces of construction paper, waiting for it to dry, then ripping them apart. The result? Ragged scraps. That’s what’s happening inside of me.
God is Healer. Always He comforts me, encourages me. I feel so unworthy, so messy, so ugly. Just this ripped up piece of paper, with half of me left somewhere else and bits of what-used-to-be clinging all over. And yet there is this incredible truth: this broken heart is beautiful when it’s on the altar.
So I lay it all down, thankful that there is something I can give back to Him who has given so much.
This also keeps me going: that He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Now I can boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper, whom shall I fear?”
Every heart-beat heard by this Healer, this Helper. Every hurt, every hunger held in the hand of this humble, Holy God!
Isn’t there awe in that?
And He is still the good Father who gives every good and perfect gift. This morning I was seated on my bed, trying to concentrate on my Bible. Looking up, I saw a vibrant rainbow arching perfectly outside my window! He keeps on reminding me gently that He is faithful to fulfill His promises.
Another reminder He gave me was when our plane landed in Toronto, Canada. Here’s the story:
The small television screen in front of me flickers nervously. I watch the altitude drop drastically. The little white plane on the moving map is nosing that white blob that supposedly represents Toronto. My heart is calm – I think. The seven hour flight gave me plenty of time to bring my fears to Jesus, and how wonderfully He wooed my heart back to Him! Now I grit my teeth, trying to bear the sharp pain in my ears. The plane slowly dips, flies low over grey buildings, then with a sharp jolt makes contact with the world again. An unexpected, overwhelming feeling of dismay momentarily takes my breath away. Fresh from the beautiful rainforest, having spent yesterday in (momentarily) sunny England, the sight out the window holds no appeal. Grey, gloomy skies drizzle dejectedly over grey, gloomy buildings and grey, gloomy tarmac. Dismal. I turn my eyes away. Just then, the man behind me comments, “It’s raining.”
His little daughter says that it is not. He says it is. She says it’s not. “Well,” he finally asks, “if it’s not raining, what is it doing?”
I hold my breath to hear her answer. “Dropping.” She says proudly. But in that one instant I am transported back in a flash to Congo. I am standing before the old lady across the street, holding the warm hand of a wee child. “Coco (Grandma)” I begin, “I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier. It was raining.”
She looks at me, the sunset rays gleaming in her dark eyes, shadows gathering around her like soft feathers. “It was not raining.” She says it so matter-of-factly that it startles me.
“But then, what was it doing?” I ask, confused.
She closes her eyes and leans back. “It was blessing.”
I look outside again, and this time my heart is crying thanks to the One who ordained that our welcome into this new home would be complete with the misty drops of grace and blessing! And as I looked again, I saw that the grass was full of dandelions. Almost as if He knew we would miss the sun, and so He sprinkled splashes of sun liberally on the few strips of green.
That experience, that realizing that God knows my deepest desires and joys to fulfill them because He loves me, moved my heart in a deep way.
So God is faithful as we begin again in a new land…